Saturday, 29 April 2017

Gone fishin', and other thoughts


Currently procrastin...er, pondering and reflecting upon the sermon for tomorrow.
*ahem*
It's been a different space, over the year since the end of August 2016, as I've moved from making use of the Revised Common Lectionary, to working through Brian McClaren's book 'We Make the Road by Walking' with the congregation. It's been fun encountering texts I've not necessarily preached on before, as well as finding other texts in quite different places in the church liturgical calendar than I've been used to.
Enjoyable.
Challenging.
Refreshing.
Engaging with story/stories.
Making me think in a slightly different way.
All good stuff.
Hopefully, the folk who've bought the book and aimed to follow along as they could, have also found it a helpful approach.
Currently wondering where we might go from 'Making the Road'...
Always the big question, really:
how to help folk engage with God a little more - new ways, and old ways, creative ways and more structured ways, in the mystery and the everyday.
And, following on, through that engagement, how to work out that engagement
in a context wider than just a 'me and my God' way.
I'm still passionate on the 'called to be in community' thing - a challenge in a world where
we seem to champion the individual over all, forgetting that none of us ever gets 'there'
completely by our own efforts.
Anti-Hayek bias coming to the fore: there is such a thing as society...darn it.

In the meanwhile, I've recently come across Steve Garnaas-Holmes' site Unfolding Light.
Some really lovely reflections in there, and I'm looking forward to gently working my way through some of his posts while I'm on a wee break.
Given that I'm off-lectionary at the moment, and meeting fish, rather than walking along the road to Emmaus, I'll be borrowing the following during worship tomorrow, for a short reflection:


Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach;
                  but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.
         Jesus said to them, “Dear children, you have no fish, have you?”
                  They answered him, “No.”
         He said to them, “Cast the net to the right side of the boat,
                  and you will find some.”
                           —John 21.4-5

The surface is always blank.
The real, submerged.

Look down into that sky,
where beneath a vague cloud flashes,

—is it above or below?—
created, given, waiting.

There is another way,
another side of your little boat.

Beneath your dreary, fruitless nights
something graced awaits,

abundance exceeding your capacity, blessing
at which you laugh in wonder and fright,

a gift that bears you to the breaking point,
a net swelled with light and glory,

and not by luck, but given in love: a presence,
a companionship you hadn't recognized.

Heaven is offered, hearts are restored
in something as simple as a broiled fish, shared.

But first you learn a new way,
another side, the unrecognized friend.

And then, after the gift, the revelation,
you learn a new way, another side.

The Mystery doesn't leave you.
It leads.

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